A Grateful Child

A Five-Point Plan for Growing a Grateful Child

by John Rosemond

1. Do not give your child very much beyond basic necessities and basic comforts; in which case he will be grateful for what he does get. The fact is that the more a child gets, the more he expects to continue getting, and the less grateful he is for anything you give him.

2. Assign your child to a daily routine of chores in and around the home, which he does not for money but simply because he is a competent member of the family. In case I need to make this clearer: Do not pay for chores. When they are paid for, the child is likely to believe that if he doesn’t need money at some point in time, he doesn’t have to do his chores.

3. Give your child an allowance, but in so doing, assign a certain area or area of fiscal responsibility to him. That forces him to begin budgeting and to begin developing an appreciation for the value of a dollar. Allowances given without responsibility teach children that money grows on trees (or in dad’s wallet or mom’s purse).

4. Before every family meal, give thanks to God for all the blessings he has conferred upon your family.

5. Do not celebrate your children such that they know they are being celebrated. Why? Because the child who is celebrated develops a prideful attitude. In that regard, it is helpful to remember the words of Henry Ward Beecher (1813 – 1887):

“A proud man is seldom a grateful man; for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.”

Humility goes a long way in this life.

©2014 John K. Rosemond

Kids and Chores

According to researchers, our children are more dependent and needy than any previous generation of Americans. They are developing attitudes of entitlement and expectation, rather than habits of self-reliance and independence. As they grow, too many young people want the privileges of adulthood — freedom and resources to make their own decisions — but not the responsibility that goes with it.

Why is this? One theory is that kids no longer are required to do household chores. By living as the privileged class in their own homes, kids today grow to expect that things will be done for them, and that they are entitled to be coddled and indulged.

Giving our kids an “ideal” childhood

Some parents look back on their own childhoods believing that they had it rough, and decide they want an easier life for their children than they themselves experienced. Their attitude about chores for kids is, “I don’t want my child to have to work as hard as I did.”

Other parents believe chores are good for kids, but don’t have enough authority in the home to get their children to cooperate. Getting kids to do chores becomes one more battle that they’d prefer not to wage, and besides, who wants sloppily folded laundry? Easier and faster to simply do it themselves.

Still others have their kids so over-programmed in activities, sports, lessons, and enrichment programs that there’s literally no time to rake leaves or empty the dishwasher. Adding to the packed schedule that parents themselves create would be unreasonable.

Unfortunately, while these are all good reasons for not requiring kids to do regular chores, they’re poor excuses. And they’re robbing children of one of the most important avenues of becoming independent.

Among the benefits of chores, experts say they teach children to work cooperatively in a family system, which translates into being better employees. They also teach kids to care for themselves, solve problems, manage their time, take responsibility, and they promote positive self esteem (think, “I did it all by myself!”)

We’ve come a long way from our agrarian roots, when families had lots of children precisely so they’d have more help around the farm! Most of us don’t have to worry that the chores we require of our children will put them at risk of injury, or wear them out before the school day begins. (Though most American farm kids are still working as hard as they ever did!)

Our modern age means we have fewer and easier tasks to keep our households running smoothly, and many that are suitable for small and helpful hands.

If you find yourself feeling more like a servant than a parent, or if you ask your 10-year-old to put the garbage out and he asks, “Out where?” or if your teenaged daughter can drive to the mall but claims not to know how to make a run to the grocery store, it’s time to recommit to sharing the wealth of benefits that can only be gained by doing chores. Check out the links below for ideas on how to do this.

Not to mention, when the housework is done by everyone and not just you, there’ll be time for the whole family to relax a little!

by Marybeth Hicks of Family Matters

 

News You Can Use Why children need more chores

Read More

News You Can Use 5 reasons why kids need chores 

Read More

News You Can Use Age-appropriate chores for children 

Read More

News You Can Use Let them tend cows 

Read More

Loosening the Reins

“Children need 

guidance and

 sympathy 

far more than instruction.”

-Anne Sullivan, U.S. educator of the deaf & blind (1866-1936)

 
There is a fine line between guidance and instruction and this famous teacher helps us understand that difference with one simple word: sympathy. I know that I often get caught in the trap of instructing my kids far too often. I feel like it is my duty and obligation to be sure that they are doing the right things at the right times. The problem is, when I take on the role of instructor, I also take over the reins. Their projects start to become my projects; their problems become my problems. In order to really teach my kids about life, I need to do a little less talking and a lot more showing. Showing my kids their choices and then allowing them to make up their own minds about a decision will do far more good in the long run than any lesson that I can tell them. By sympathizing with them when those choices have painful consequences, we make ourselves safe havens. We make ourselves available to them simply by being there when they hurt without saying “I told you so” even when we did.-Hal Runkel, LMFT, Author of ScreamFree Parenting and ScreamFree Marriage